Winter Troubles With Your Interlock? That Blows!

winter trouble ignition interlockIt is SO cold outside, with polar vortexes and hurricane blizzards. Much of the nation is under the thumb of a seemingly angry Jack Frost, affecting a lot of our normal habits – like breathing. Cold air constricts our airways, and it is dry, challenging our reasons for even leaving the house. When you have an ignition interlock device, the winter season can add time and frustration to your normal routine. Blowing into the interlock can be especially challenging, for a couple of reasons.

Ignition interlock devices are sensitive to the strength of the air you blow, as well as the temperature outside.

Constricted lungs due to cold air, or because you’ve caught a cold or the flu, can reduce how strongly you can blow into your interlock. If you are unable to create the right amount of pressure, your device will prompt you to keep submitting a breath sample until it can accurately measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Unfortunately, you will not be able to start your vehicle until you can blow a clean breath sample, which could mean you are sitting in a cold vehicle for some time.

Your cold vehicle can also affect more than you blowing into your interlock. Cold temperatures can cause an ignition interlock to take additional time to warm up, and you will have to sit and wait for the device to do just that. If your vehicle’s battery is too weak to stand up to the cold temperatures, you may have additional concerns about violations that appear to show you “tampering” with the device (like you had disconnected the battery).

In any case, and no matter why you are having trouble blowing into your interlock, do not take matters into your own hands. Contact your ignition interlock service provider for assistance, and allow yourself the time to cool off, or warm up, so that you can get back on the road as soon as possible.

Your Shot at an Arizona DUI Deferment

Arizona DUI deferment diversionArizona DUI laws are some of the toughest in the nation, and the consequences are just as strict. As such, when facing a drunk driving conviction, we all look for the easiest way to get our lives back. Some states offer DUI deferment or diversion programs for many “simple” offenses. However, Arizona DUI law does not budge, and it does not offer plea bargains or DUI deferments. Instead, your key to reducing the impact of your drunk driving conviction is in your commitment to using your ignition interlock device.

Ignition interlock devices are required for all Arizona DUI Offenses.

A DUI is charged when you are arrested for driving dangerously and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures at or above .08 percent. Sometimes, even if your BAC is lower, you could still be charged with a DUI if you are clearly a danger on the roads. If you are convicted, even if it is your first time, you will have an ignition interlock requirement.

However, if you and your Arizona ignition interlock device are getting along and you have not had any violations or further DUI problems (among other criteria), you could be eligible for a six-month reduction in the time you are required to use the device. You could essentially reduce a one-year interlock requirement in half, just by being a model interlock user. You cannot change the criminal consequences of your actions, but you can at least restore your freedom earlier than you originally thought.

Arizona DUI deferments and diversion programs are not an option, which means it is on you to make up for the impaired mistake that could have caused a lot more worry than When you are serious about getting your life back after an Arizona DUI, your best road there includes an ignition interlock device. You will not be able to drive without one until you are successfully driving WITH one.

Your California Ignition Interlock is No Joke, Fool

California ignition interlockPeople who drink can be funny. Not funny, like a comedian or golf superstar funny, but funny in the way that they sometimes think they can drink and drive. In a land known for its entertainers and performers, we can all take a little sage advice from those who have faced a very unfunny future: California ignition interlock devices are no laughing matter.

A California ignition interlock requirement means that you have been convicted of drunk driving at least once. There is nothing funny about drunk driving, which is why you now have an interlock; so that you don’t try for an encore incident. The California ignition interlock device is designed to keep you from drinking and driving by measuring your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC measures above a preset limit, then your ignition is temporarily disabled. If the BAC comes back too high during a rolling retest (after you have started the vehicle and are driving), then you will be gently reminded to pull over and shut off your vehicle.

Trying to fool your interlock device will just get you into more trouble. There is no amount of air from a balloon, a friend, fangirl, or fanboy that will get you out of a new role: ignition interlock violator. You may think it isn’t a big deal to blow your test like that, but you’ll either end up with no interlock and a suspended license, a longer time requirement with the device, or consequences like jail.

Jail isn’t funny, neither is drunk driving.

Instead of being the funny face behind the wheel, you can pretty easily turn things around by finding a safe ride home. When you fiddle and fool with your California ignition interlock, you become a punchline that nobody really gets anyway. Be smart, silly, and sober, and keep your ignition interlock drama to a minimum.

Ready to Drive after a Mississippi DUI?

driving after a mississippi duiDid you know that, if you’re arrested for drunk driving in Mississippi, your driver’s license can be suspended even if you are not later convicted of the crime? Mississippi is one of the 42 states that have administrative license revocation (ALR) – the power of law enforcement to suspend your license immediately if your BAC is over 0.08% or you refuse to take a sobriety test. So even if you’re never convicted in a courtroom, choosing to drink and drive will always mean that consequences will follow.

Whether you’re convicted in court, have a suspension through the DMV, or both, a Mississippi DUI is serious, and subsequent offenses will increase your penalties. If you have a third conviction within five years, your third conviction will be a felony, and that will follow you for the rest of your life. The legal penalties for a Mississippi DUI can include jail time, fines, license suspension or revocation, driver education program, substance abuse treatment program, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

To regain your driving privileges once you been convicted of a DUI in Mississippi, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Serve your jail and/or suspension time.
  2. Attend the Mississippi Alcohol Safety Education Program (MASEP).
  3. Get a copy of your Motor Vehicle Report.
  4. Obtain proof of hardship and qualify for the hardship license.
  5. Provide proof of financial responsibility or SR-22 insurance.
  6. File a petition for a hardship license.
  7. Pay all fees and fines.
  8. Have an ignition interlock device installed.

Remember to report in for monitoring and maintenance of your ignition interlock device. The device is a requirement of keeping your hardship license, as is attending each appointment. The device records data that indicates your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) when driving, the number of times you drive, how far you drive, and if any attempts to tamper with the device were made.

Ready to Drive after a Texas DWI? Not So Fast!

driving after a Texas DWIOur freedom and our independence are always top concerns, even when we haven’t acted like the model citizens we wish we were. Too many times after drinking an offender still thinks its “okay to drive,” even if that’s the same kind of attitude that ended in a Texas DWI. We get that we made a mistake, but it is really hard to get back and forth to work or school with a suspended license. It may even be easy to just jump into a car and run down the street to the store. Unfortunately, unless you’ve done your job by properly reinstating your license after a Texas DWI, you’re just running into more trouble for your efforts.

Your direct path to getting your license back after a Texas DWI includes:

  • Immediately getting an ignition interlock installed and then bringing that proof to the Texas DPS.
  • Waiting for your restricted driver’s license to arrive in the mail.
  • Driving safely, paying any additional fines as required by the DPS.
  • Attending all service appointments for interlock maintenance and calibration.

Once you get your ignition interlock device installed, you still have to remember the reasons you have the interlock to begin with, so that you don’t make the same mistake again. That means you don’t have any amount of alcohol before you drive your interlock vehicle, and that you only ever drive your vehicle with the device installed. That way, you have a breath test on record each time you drive, and it is never over the preset limit.

Remember that in some cases, any amount of alcohol detected on an interlock test could be grounds for a subsequent Texas DWI charge.

Being ready to drive after a Texas DWI is more than filling out paperwork and paying fines. Your commitment to being a sober driver is the most important factor in a successful recovery, and reentry into your life of freedom and independence.

Driving After a New Mexico DWI is No Problem

New Mexico DWI drivingNew Mexico is one of 42 states that will revoke your license administratively as well as judicially. These are considered separate revocations; so one has no effect on the other. If you fail to meet the deadline for a court date request and have your license automatically suspended due to an administrative license revocation (ALR), that time will be separate from the revocation time you receive if actually convicted in a court of law of a New Mexico DWI.

New Mexico requires all drivers that are convicted of a New Mexico DWI to have an ignition interlock device installed, whether it’s your first offense or third. New Mexico takes drinking and driving seriously and has severe penalties for those convicted of a DWI, including fines, jail time, license revocation which becomes permanent on the fourth offense, and alcohol evaluation and treatment. This state will also revoke your license for failure submit to an alcohol test, and you can regain it by installing an ignition interlock device.

You must do the following things to legally regain your driving privileges after a New Mexico DWI conviction:

  • Make an appointment and have your ignition interlock device installed.
  • Keep the contract as proof of installation.
  • Sign and have notarized an Affidavit for ignition interlock license.
  • Go to any New Mexico State MVD field office to receive your interlock license.
  • Bring identification, proof of insurance, and the licensing fee and you’re good to go.
  • If you receive a lifetime revocation of your license, you may be able to regain some of your driving privileges with the use of an ignition interlock device. However, you will be subjected to a review every five years and can have your privileges revoked at any time. Don’t forget to go in for regular monitoring; it’s a condition of keeping your interlock license.

Why You Need an IID after a Maryland DUI or DWI

IID and driving after a Maryland DUI or DWIThe state of Maryland is tough on drivers who drive under the influence. One way that they go above and beyond is that they have two types of charges: a Maryland DUI and a Maryland DWI. They two are distinct from one another, and depend on the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the offender.

A DWI is issued if your BAC is .04 – .08% and you were exhibiting signs of impaired driving. A Maryland DWI carries penalties including jail time, fines, license suspension, and an ignition interlock device (IID) requirement. While a DWI conviction will negatively impact your life, it’s nothing compared to the penalties associated with a DUI.

A Maryland DUI carries stiffer penalties, as your BAC is higher at .08% or higher. The following penalties apply to a Maryland DUI:

  • First Offense: up to one year in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, license suspended for 6 months. Ignition interlock device is only required if your BAC was over .15%
  • Second Offense: minimum 5 days up to two years in jail, fines up to $2,000, license suspended for a year followed by 3-12 months of an ignition interlock device (IID), alcohol education and treatment required
  • Third Offense: up to 3 years in jail, fines up to $3,000, license suspended for 18 months followed by the installation of an ignition interlock device

If you’ve been convicted of a Maryland DUI, the following steps can be taken to gain a restricted use license:

  1. Call the Maryland Medical Advisory Board’s Driver Wellness and Safety Division to determine if you are eligible for a restricted license.
  2. If you’re eligible, the MVD will issue you a document authorizing the installation of an ignition interlock device.
  3. Make an appointment and take your certificate to have your ignition interlock device installed.
  4. After your device is installed they will sign your certificate, return it to the MVD to be issued your restricted license.

These are the consequences of drinking and driving. Not only will it consume part of your life and your money, it will consume your time and restrict your movement. Don’t forget to report for regular monitoring once you’ve completed these steps; so that you don’t end up losing the privilege of driving again.

Got a California DUI? Get Back on the Road!

Got a California DUI?Even with the changes coming to California DUI law, there are still opportunities for everyone with a drunk driving conviction to be able to drive… and drive legally. Mandating ignition interlocks for all offenders is making the entire state of California safer. For those of you with a DUI, it is easier than ever to get back on the road. Here’s the scoop:

After your California DUI, you will receive a temporary license that is good for 30 days. Then the clock starts to tick.

Once you have your temporary driver’s license, your time is best spent following the following guidelines, so that you are never without your legal right to drive. That means you will need to:

  • Serve out any mandatory driver’s license suspension period.
  • Attend a DUI program so that you have a Proof of Enrollment certificate on file with the DMV.
  • Apply to have your driver’s license reinstated (remember, your current temporary license will not last forever).
  • File proof of insurance (SR-22) with the California DMV.
  • Pay your fines, follow any other directives of the court.
  • Get your ignition interlock device installed.

In most cases, you will not be able to legally drive unless you have an ignition interlock device installed. Once the device is installed, you will be given a certificate that verifies your installation. Take it on into the DMV, along with all other proof listed above, so that you can restore your ability to drive legally as soon as possible.

Driving is one of those activities that we not only feel is our right, but we also rely on for almost every aspect of our lives. By ensuring we have all of our boxes checked after a California DUI, there is less frustration and chance for things to go wrong once you are ready to get back on the road.

Another Year Older, Another DUI Excuse

another DUI excuseYou can use many excuses as a reason to drink, and most people do. But since the all-important 21st birthday, there has never been an excuse used more often than, “It’s my birthday!” Of course we want to celebrate our birthdays and other important holidays, but each year we grow older and wiser, and that means taking responsibility for our impaired choices.

All year long we find reasons to drink. From the explosive and often drunken start of the New Year to the often volatile and drunken end of the year, Christmas, we find many reasons to imbibe. Celebrations of anniversaries and weddings are all events that feature alcohol. Painting and yoga classes offer alcohol these days. The prevalence of alcohol in all aspects of our lives is still not a DUI excuse. The worst thing you can do after one of these admittedly fun events is getting behind the wheel of a car.

If you get pulled over on your way home or to the next gathering, the worst thing you can do is try to excuse your actions. “I only had a few during the reception” is not an acceptable DUI excuse. Designated drivers are not just for a night spent bar hopping, they are important for any event where alcohol will be present. This includes most sporting events, where “my team lost” is a common DUI excuse that does not excuse any dangerous driving on your part.

No matter if you are attending a professional sporting event or your cousin’s bat mitzvah, if there is going to be alcohol present make sure you have a designated driver or the number to a local cab company to get you home. Imagine yourself trying to explain why you were driving under the influence to your family, friends, or to a courtroom judge, and then make the right decision to avoid that inexcusable behavior. There are no acceptable DUI excuses, just more people living their lives with regret, an ignition interlock device, and a commitment to only driving while sober in the future.

A New Florida DUI – Parking Under the Influence?

florida DUI while parking under the influenceWe have all heard those cautionary tales. Do not go sleep in your car if you are drunk – you will get a ticket! A Florida DUI law actually makes that tale a reality.

Calling this law new is a misnomer, as it has always been part of Florida DUI law. Florida DUI laws are strict, and the word driving in the phrase driving under the influence is loosely interpreted, but for good reason. In this case, driving means the driver is in actual physical control of the vehicle, even if the engine is off and the driver is asleep. Also, a vehicle can include things such as boats and bicycles. In any case, a Florida DUI may mean you spend time in jail, or at least with an ignition interlock device.

This law targets people who drive home drunk and have an accident but are not in the vehicle when law enforcement arrives. If they are staggering around outside the vehicle, they are not technically driving at the moment, but they can be given a Florida DUI. The police can make the case that the guy staggering around outside the vehicle, that owns the vehicle and happens to have the keys to it, was the one driving the vehicle at the time of the accident.

In the case of this woman, parking under the influence was the result of a true Florida DUI story: she thought the middle of the road was her driveway.

What constitutes actual physical control? Some courts have defined actual physical control as the ability to start the car at any time and drive away. So, the location of your keys can be very important. If they are in the ignition or your pocket, you may be charged with a Florida DUI. If you put them in your glove box or somewhere else not so easily accessible, you may be less likely to be charged.

If you sleep it off in the driver’s seat of your car, you may be charged with a Florida DUI. Instead of relying on a power nap before driving home, maintain control of your life and opt for a safe ride home with another person behind the wheel.